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(post, kari hardin)
Let's just pause for a minute. We're gonna take a little moment of thoughtful silence, and we're gonna think about bacon, sausage, ribs, chorizo, ham, hocks and chops. Ahhh.... Wasn't that nice. Do you feel all warm and fuzzy and slightly hungry? I do. I've spent the last week feasting on a diet primarily based around pork products and it's become abundantly clear to me that the pig, in all its (dare I say) perfection, may be my animal of choice, for digestion purposes that is. I realize that a lot of you, more likely most of you, would completely disagree with me. And that's fine really, but when your morning eggs are cradled up next to a side of turkey bacon, don't tell me you've never wished longingly for the real deal. Agreed, I prefer a steak over a pork chop or grilled lamb over pork roast, but imagine the world of charcuterie without this divine beast, I just don't see cured chicken products taking off with the masses like those of the pig. I spent a good chunk of my life as a vegetarian, or rather a pescetarian, but all the while the one animal I missed munching on was the pig. I know what people say about the cleanliness of swine (or lack there of) and of their omnivorous diets and all the health risks that may be involved in consuming pork products, but I just can't imagine life without pig. Awhile ago, my dear friend O, a fellow avid admirer of pork, threatened to eliminate said food group from his diet. His threat was based on the possible outcome of a pork-chop/coke-a-cola experiment that may or may not end with large, previously unnoticed, worms that were to crawl to the surface of the meat after being coaxed by the sweet flavor of coke-a-cola. Needless to say, his threat was just that and we still share a morning round of thick cut bacon from time to time and I made a promise to never waste good meat products on science experiments. Any who, with all the pork intake I've had lately, I really felt like not only do I owe a huge thanks to Mr. Pig THANKS for being so damn yummy, but also I really just wanted to send on some pork eating inspiration (I realize that neither of those things actually help Mr. Pig stay Mr. Pig, but...). Try parts you've never tried. Try your hand at making homemade sausage or pate. Ask your butcher for the head and boil it into a rich stock for posole, save the trimmings (ears, tail, feet) and cook up some feijoda. A pig is so much more than a chop, and your butcher has a lot of interesting things hidden in his walk in. But even if you decide you just like bacon, try switching it out with pancetta (Italian salt cured pork) in your next recipe. Pork has inspired me to cook so many incredible meals lately, so I hope by now I've spread a little inspiration on to you, cause I'm full. This pictured above is currently my my fave pork concoction. Sourdough, farm fresh eggs, HAM, vine ripe tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, horseradish cheddar and a touch of salt and pepper... D-licious!